Driving too fast on worn tires can result in hydroplaning, loss of vehicle control and accidents says Philadelphia car accident attorney Rand Spear.
We look forward to spring as an escape from the cold, dark days of winter. One of the downsides of the season is roads wet from snow melt and rain. Wet roads are so common you may not give them a second thought, but they can create conditions that can cause serious accidents if a driver isn’t taking proper precautions says Philadelphia car accident lawyer Rand Spear.
According to the Federal Highway Administration from 2005 to 2014 on average, for each year, there were 907,831 accidents related to wet roads. They left,
- 352,221 people injured, and
- 4,488 people killed.
Accidents on wet roads made up 16% of vehicle crashes, were 13% of vehicle accident fatalities and were 73% of all weather-related accidents.
Hydroplaning occurs when your tires lose contact with the road surface because of a layer of water. Without friction between your tires and the road you can’t effectively brake or steer, according to Indiana Public Media.
If the roadway is wet enough a layer of water can build up between your tires and the road and your tires lose their grip. If the road is covered in water the pressure downward from the tires due to the weight of your vehicle against the road surface causes the water to be squeezed up into the tire treads, away from the surface, creating the friction that will stabilize your car.
The faster your vehicle travels the more water needs to be removed by the tires. As a result it may be safe to travel at thirty miles per hour, but dangerous to go sixty miles per hour because the tires can’t pump away enough water. At highway speeds in a hard rain, each tire needs to push away about a gallon of water every second to maintain control.
Another factor is how worn the tires are. If they are old and their treads are worn down,
- There isn’t enough room in the tire’s grooves to pump enough water out,
- Water doesn’t have a place to go,
- A layer of water forms between the tire and road,
- Causing hydroplaning.
You can take steps to prevent or reduce hydroplaning,
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Hydroplaning becomes more likely if they have too little or too much air.
- Make sure your tires have enough tread to safely drive on them.
- If you are buying replacement tires, some designs are better than others when it comes to wet traction so consider that before making a purchase.
- Most hydroplaning occurs because vehicles go too fast. You may or may not feel the loss of control while hydroplaning so if it starts to rain or the road is covered in water, slow down.
- Avoid, or slow down before hitting puddles because hydroplaning is more likely to occur on standing water because it’s easier to float over the water if it has some depth.
- If you feel loss of control due to hydroplaning, don’t panic. Don’t hit your brakes but take your foot off the gas until you’re traveling slowly enough for your tires to handle the water.
Weather and road conditions are issues that all drivers need to cope with. If a vehicle uses tires that are ineffective for wet roads or a driver is in too much of a hurry to slow down an accident can happen, leaving victims seriously injured or killed.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey accident on a wet road, contact an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer right away. Your lawyer can answer your questions and help you determine the next steps in your case.
Contact us or call Philadelphia truck accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 877-GET-RAND today to discuss your case with a knowledgeable vehicle accident attorney.